People smuggling in the United Kingdom is a criminal offence that has devastating penalties for parties engaged in such activities. A new change in the law regarding people smuggling in the UK may also change these penalties for the worse in an attempt to help reduce migrants from entering the country. This article discusses the penalties for people smuggling in the UK.

What Is People Smuggling in the UK?

It is a process through which specific actors facilitate migrants to enter the United Kingdom illegally. It is solely a part of the Immigration Act 1971 [Sections 25, 25A, 25B, 25B (3)]. Therefore, it is not the same thing as people trafficking. This process is usually reserved for those facilitating the entry of asylum seekers into the country to seek refuge there after leaving their own or those who were served a deportation order. That said, people smuggling is also a serious offence, and it’s crucial to have legal help to manage your case.

What are the Penalties for People Smuggling in the UK?

The penalties for people smuggling in the UK are currently set at a maximum of 14 years of imprisonment. However, earlier in 2022, a bill was introduced that could increase this maximum imprisonment duration to a lifetime sentence. If this bill is accepted, this may reduce the activity in the UK or may cause further complications—anything is speculation at this point.

Who Will Not Be Convicted of People Smuggling

This bill also states that individuals and organisations who rescue people in distress or danger at sea will not be charged with people smuggling offences.

What the UK Government Considers Problematic with People Smuggling

Other than being illegal to facilitate the entry of individuals into the UK for gain (Section 25A), it’s also ethically wrong to do so because many people looking for refuge are put into situations by gangsters that pose a significant risk to their lives.

It’s important to note that people who are being smuggled (who are often refugees) also may be charged with imprisonment. While there may be some help for victims, entering the country illegally is still a criminal offence. That said, people in such positions can consider hiring a team of UK immigration solicitors to help fight their case through a sound defence strategy.

Final Words

After knowing the penalties for people smuggling in the UK, it’s evident that you or your loved ones should hire experienced and highly skilled UK immigration solicitors to handle your case. There are many complications that arise with such charges, so you should make sure that nothing is being additionally added that is incorrect. A team of lawyers can review your case, make sure that every detail is accurate, create a defence strategy, and then implement it to help you get the most favorable outcome based on your situation.